Undergraduate Subjects
8.006 Exploring Physics Using Python
(New)
()
Prereq: None. Coreq: 6.100L; or permission of instructor
Units: 201 [P/D/F]
Lecture: F1012 (2146)
Reviews and reinforces 6.100L topics, making connections and studying interesting physical systems (from abstract knowledge of concepts to modeling, coding, and evaluating results) that are relevant to physicists. Classes are active and interactive. Students apply programming skills to introductory physics problems and explore the role of simulations on physics. Limited to 12.
M. Heine No textbook information available
8.01 Physics I
()
Prereq: None
Units: 327
Credit cannot also be received for 8.011, 8.012, 8.01L, ES.801, ES.8012
Lecture: MW910.30,F9 (26152) or MW1112.30,F11 (26152) or MW12.30,F1 (26152) or MW34.30,F3 (26152) or TR910.30,F10 (26152) or TR1112.30,F12 (26152) or TR34.30,F4 (26152) +final
Introduces classical mechanics. Space and time: straightline kinematics; motion in a plane; forces and static equilibrium; particle dynamics, with force and conservation of momentum; relative inertial frames and noninertial force; work, potential energy and conservation of energy; kinetic theory and the ideal gas; rigid bodies and rotational dynamics; vibrational motion; conservation of angular momentum; central force motions; fluid mechanics. Subject taught using the TEAL (TechnologyEnabled Active Learning) format which features students working in groups of three, discussing concepts, solving problems, and doing tabletop experiments with the aid of computer data acquisition and analysis.
C. Paus, P. Dourmashkin No textbook information available
8.011 Physics I
()
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.01, 8.012, 8.01L, ES.801, ES.8012
Introduces classical mechanics. Space and time: straightline kinematics; motion in a plane; forces and equilibrium; experimental basis of Newton's laws; particle dynamics; universal gravitation; collisions and conservation laws; work and potential energy; vibrational motion; conservative forces; inertial forces and noninertial frames; central force motions; rigid bodies and rotational dynamics. Designed for students with previous experience in 8.01; the subject is designated as 8.01 on the transcript.
Staff
8.012 Physics I
()
Prereq: None
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.01, 8.011, 8.01L, ES.801, ES.8012
Lecture: TR910.30 (6120) Recitation: MW10 (26204) or MW11 (26204) or MW1 (26314) or MW2 (26314) +final
Elementary mechanics, presented in greater depth than in 8.01. Newton's laws, concepts of momentum, energy, angular momentum, rigid body motion, and noninertial systems. Uses elementary calculus freely; concurrent registration in a math subject more advanced than 18.01 is recommended. In addition to covering the theoretical subject matter, students complete a small experimental project of their own design. Firstyear students admitted via AP or Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement results.
L. Necib Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.01L Physics I
(, )
Prereq: None
Units: 327
Credit cannot also be received for 8.01, 8.011, 8.012, ES.801, ES.8012
Final exam during iap. Lecture: TR9.3011,F34.30 (32082)
Introduction to classical mechanics (see description under 8.01). Includes components of the TEAL (TechnologyEnabled Active Learning) format. Material covered over a longer interval so that the subject is completed by the end of the IAP. Substantial emphasis given to reviewing and strengthening necessary mathematics tools, as well as basic physics concepts and problemsolving skills. Content, depth, and difficulty is otherwise identical to that of 8.01. The subject is designated as 8.01 on the transcript.
R. Milner No textbook information available
8.02 Physics II
(, )
Prereq: Calculus I (GIR) and Physics I (GIR)
Units: 327
Credit cannot also be received for 8.021, 8.022, ES.802, ES.8022
URL: http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects/index.html
Lecture: MW910.30,F9 (32082) or TR1.303,F1.30 (32082) +final
Introduction to electromagnetism and electrostatics: electric charge, Coulomb's law, electric structure of matter; conductors and dielectrics. Concepts of electrostatic field and potential, electrostatic energy. Electric currents, magnetic fields and Ampere's law. Magnetic materials. Timevarying fields and Faraday's law of induction. Basic electric circuits. Electromagnetic waves and Maxwell's equations. Subject taught using the TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) studio format which utilizes small group interaction and current technology to help students develop intuition about, and conceptual models of, physical phenomena.
P. Dourmashkin No textbook information available
8.021 Physics II
()
Prereq: Calculus I (GIR), Physics I (GIR), and permission of instructor
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.02, 8.022, ES.802, ES.8022
Lecture: TR12.30 (35310) Lab: F11 (26210) Recitation: W1 (26204)
Introduction to electromagnetism and electrostatics: electric charge, Coulomb's law, electric structure of matter; conductors and dielectrics. Concepts of electrostatic field and potential, electrostatic energy. Electric currents, magnetic fields and Ampere's law. Magnetic materials. Timevarying fields and Faraday's law of induction. Basic electric circuits. Electromagnetic waves and Maxwell's equations. Designed for students with previous experience in 8.02; the subject is designated as 8.02 on the transcript. Enrollment limited.
E. Katsavounidis Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.022 Physics II
(, )
Prereq: Physics I (GIR); Coreq: Calculus II (GIR)
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.02, 8.021, ES.802, ES.8022
Lecture: TR23.30 (6120) Recitation: MW10 (26210) or MW1 (26210) +final
Parallel to 8.02, but more advanced mathematically. Some knowledge of vector calculus assumed. Maxwell's equations, in both differential and integral form. Electrostatic and magnetic vector potential. Properties of dielectrics and magnetic materials. In addition to the theoretical subject matter, several experiments in electricity and magnetism are performed by the students in the laboratory.
J. Checkelsky Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.03 Physics III
(, )
Prereq: Calculus II (GIR) and Physics II (GIR)
Units: 507
URL: http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects/index.html
Lecture: TR11.301 (32082) Recitation: MW10 (26314) or MW11 (26314) or MW1 (26328) or MW2 (26328) +final
Mechanical vibrations and waves; simple harmonic motion, superposition, forced vibrations and resonance, coupled oscillations, and normal modes; vibrations of continuous systems; reflection and refraction; phase and group velocity. Optics; wave solutions to Maxwell's equations; polarization; Snell's Law, interference, Huygens's principle, Fraunhofer diffraction, and gratings.
A. Vanderburg Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.033 Relativity
()
Prereq: Calculus II (GIR) and Physics II (GIR)
Units: 507
Lecture: MW23.30 (6120) Recitation: TR1 (56162) or TR2 (56162) +final
Einstein's postulates; consequences for simultaneity, time dilation, length contraction, and clock synchronization; Lorentz transformation; relativistic effects and paradoxes; Minkowski diagrams; invariants and fourvectors; momentum, energy, and mass; particle collisions. Relativity and electricity; Coulomb's law; magnetic fields. Brief introduction to Newtonian cosmology. Introduction to some concepts of general relativity; principle of equivalence. The Schwarzchild metric; gravitational red shift; particle and light trajectories; geodesics; Shapiro delay.
S. Hughes Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.04 Quantum Physics I
()
Prereq: 8.03 and (18.03 or 18.032)
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.041
Experimental basis of quantum physics: photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, photons, FranckHertz experiment, the Bohr atom, electron diffraction, deBroglie waves, and waveparticle duality of matter and light. Introduction to wave mechanics: Schroedinger's equation, wave functions, wave packets, probability amplitudes, stationary states, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and zeropoint energies. Solutions to Schroedinger's equation in one dimension: transmission and reflection at a barrier, barrier penetration, potential wells, the simple harmonic oscillator. Schroedinger's equation in three dimensions: central potentials and introduction to hydrogenic systems.
Staff
8.041 Quantum Physics I
()
Prereq: 8.03 and (18.03 or 18.032)
Units: 2010
Credit cannot also be received for 8.04
Recitation: TR11 (4231) +final
Blended version of 8.04 using a combination of online and inperson instruction. Covers the experimental basis of quantum physics: MachZender interferometers, the photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and de Broglie waves. Heisenberg uncertainty principle and momentum space. Introduction to wave mechanics: Schroedinger's equation, probability amplitudes, and wave packets. Stationary states and the spectrum of onedimensional potentials, including the variational principle, the HellmannFeynman lemma, the virial theorem, and the harmonic oscillator. Basics of angular momentum, central potentials, and the hydrogen atom. Introduction to the SternGerlach experiment, spin onehalf, spin operators, and spin states.
B. Zwiebach Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.044 Statistical Physics I
()
Prereq: 8.03 and 18.03
Units: 507
Introduction to probability, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics. Random variables, joint and conditional probability densities, and functions of a random variable. Concepts of macroscopic variables and thermodynamic equilibrium, fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics, microcanonical and canonical ensembles. First, second, and third laws of thermodynamics. Numerous examples illustrating a wide variety of physical phenomena such as magnetism, polyatomic gases, thermal radiation, electrons in solids, and noise in electronic devices. Concurrent enrollment in 8.04 is recommended.
Staff
8.05 Quantum Physics II
()
Prereq: 8.04 or 8.041
Units: 507
Credit cannot also be received for 8.051
Lecture: MW12.302 (6120) Recitation: TR10 (26142) or TR11 (26142) or TR1 (26314) or TR2 (26314) +final
Vector spaces, linear operators, and matrix representations. Inner products and adjoint operators. Commutator identities. Dirac's Brakets. Uncertainty principle and energytime version. Spectral theorem and complete set of commuting observables. Schrodinger and Heisenberg pictures. Axioms of quantum mechanics. Coherent states and nuclear magnetic resonance. Multiparticle states and tensor products. Quantum teleportation, EPR and Bell inequalities. Angular momentum and central potentials. Addition of angular momentum. Density matrices, pure and mixed states, decoherence.
S. Choi No textbook information available
8.051 Quantum Physics II
()
Prereq: 8.04 and permission of instructor
Units: 2010
Credit cannot also be received for 8.05
Blended version of 8.05 using a combination of online and inperson instruction. Together with 8.06 covers quantum physics with applications drawn from modern physics. General formalism of quantum mechanics: states, operators, Dirac notation, representations, measurement theory. Harmonic oscillator: operator algebra, states. Quantum mechanics in three dimensions: central potentials and the radial equation, bound and scattering states, qualitative analysis of wave functions. Angular momentum: operators, commutator algebra, eigenvalues and eigenstates, spherical harmonics. Spin: SternGerlach devices and measurements, nuclear magnetic resonance, spin and statistics. Addition of angular momentum: ClebschGordan series and coefficients, spin systems, and allotropic forms of hydrogen. Limited to 20.
Staff
8.06 Quantum Physics III
()
Prereq: 8.05
Units: 507
Continuation of 8.05. Units: natural units, scales of microscopic phenomena, applications. Timeindependent approximation methods: degenerate and nondegenerate perturbation theory, variational method, BornOppenheimer approximation, applications to atomic and molecular systems. The structure of one and twoelectron atoms: overview, spinorbit and relativistic corrections, fine structure, variational approximation, screening, Zeeman and Stark effects. Charged particles in a magnetic field: Landau levels and integer quantum hall effect. Scattering: general principles, partial waves, review of onedimension, lowenergy approximations, resonance, Born approximation. Timedependent perturbation theory. Students research and write a paper on a topic related to the content of 8.05 and 8.06.
Staff
8.07 Electromagnetism II
()
Prereq: 8.03 and 18.03
Units: 408
URL: http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects/index.html
Lecture: MW1112.30 (6120) Recitation: MW1 (135101) or MW2 (135101) +final
Survey of basic electromagnetic phenomena: electrostatics, magnetostatics; electromagnetic properties of matter. Timedependent electromagnetic fields and Maxwell's equations. Electromagnetic waves, emission, absorption, and scattering of radiation. Relativistic electrodynamics and mechanics.
L. Fu Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.08 Statistical Physics II
()
Prereq: 8.044 and 8.05
Units: 408
Probability distributions for classical and quantum systems. Microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical partitionfunctions and associated thermodynamic potentials. Conditions of thermodynamic equilibrium for homogenous and heterogenous systems. Applications: noninteracting Bose and Fermi gases; mean field theories for real gases, binary mixtures, magnetic systems, polymer solutions; phase and reaction equilibria, critical phenomena. Fluctuations, correlation functions and susceptibilities, and Kubo formulae. Evolution of distribution functions: Boltzmann and Smoluchowski equations.
J. Tailleur
8.09 Classical Mechanics III
()
(Subject meets with 8.309)
Prereq: 8.223
Units: 408
Covers Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, systems with constraints, rigid body dynamics, vibrations, central forces, HamiltonJacobi theory, actionangle variables, perturbation theory, and continuous systems. Provides an introduction to ideal and viscous fluid mechanics, including turbulence, as well as an introduction to nonlinear dynamics, including chaos. Students taking graduate version complete different assignments.
Staff
Undergraduate Laboratory and Special Project Subjects
8.10 Exploring and Communicating Physics (and other) Frontiers
() Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 200 [P/D/F]
Features a series of 12 interactive sessions that span a wide variety of topics at the frontiers of science  e.g., quantum computing, dark matter, the nature of time  and encourage independent thinking. Discussions draw from the professor's published pieces in periodicals as well as short excerpts from his books. Also discusses, through case studies, the process of writing and rewriting. Subject can count toward the 6unit discoveryfocused credit limit for first year students.
F. Wilczek
8.13 Experimental Physics I
(, )
Prereq: 8.04
Units: 0612
URL: http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects/index.html
Lab: MW912 (4361) or MW25 (4361) or TR912 (4361) or TR25 (4361)
First in a twoterm advanced laboratory sequence in modern physics focusing on the professional and personal development of the student as a scientist through the medium of experimental physics. Experimental options cover special relativity, experimental foundations of quantum mechanics, atomic structure and optics, statistical mechanics, and nuclear and particle physics. Uses modern physics experiments to develop laboratory technique, systematic troubleshooting, professional scientific attitude, data analysis skills and reasoning about uncertainty. Provides extensive training in oral and written communication methods. Limited to 12 students per section.
J. Conrad No textbook information available
8.14 Experimental Physics II
()
Prereq: 8.05 and 8.13
Units: 0612
Second in a twoterm advanced laboratory sequence in modern physics focusing on the professional and personal development of the student as a scientist through the medium of experimental physics. Experimental options cover special relativity, experimental foundations of quantum mechanics, atomic structure and optics, statistical mechanics, and nuclear and particle physics. Uses modern physics experiments to develop laboratory technique, systematic troubleshooting, professional scientific attitude, data analysis skills, and reasoning about uncertainty; provides extensive training in oral and written communication methods. Continues 8.13 practice in these skills using more advanced experiments and adds an exploratory project element in which students develop an experiment from the proposal and design stage to a final presentation of results in a poster session. Limited to 12 students per section.
N. Fakhri
8.16 Data Science in Physics
()
(Subject meets with 8.316)
Prereq: 8.04 and (6.100A, 6.100B, or permission of instructor)
Units: 309
Aims to present modern computational methods by providing realistic, contemporary examples of how these computational methods apply to physics research. Designed around research modules in which each module provides experience with a specific scientific challenge. Modules include: analyzing LIGO open data; measuring electroweak boson to quark decays; understanding the cosmic microwave background; and lattice QCD/Ising model. Experience in Python helpful but not required. Lectures are viewed outside of class; inclass time is dedicated to problemsolving and discussion. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff
8.18 Research Problems in Undergraduate Physics
(, , , )
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
Opportunity for undergraduates to engage in experimental or theoretical research under the supervision of a staff member. Specific approval required in each case.
L. Winslow No textbook information available
8.19 Readings in Physics
(, , , )
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
Supervised reading and library work. Choice of material and allotment of time according to individual needs. For students who want to do work not provided for in the regular subjects. Specific approval required in each case.
L. Winslow No textbook information available
Undergraduate Elective Subjects
8.20 Introduction to Special Relativity
()
Prereq: Calculus I (GIR) and Physics I (GIR)
Units: 207
Introduces the basic ideas and equations of Einstein's special theory of relativity. Topics include Lorentz transformations, length contraction and time dilation, four vectors, Lorentz invariants, relativistic energy and momentum, relativistic kinematics, Doppler shift, spacetime diagrams, relativity paradoxes, and some concepts of general relativity. Intended for freshmen and sophomores. Not usable as a restricted elective by Physics majors. Credit cannot be received for 8.20 if credit for 8.033 is or has been received in the same or prior terms.
Staff
8.21 Physics of Energy
()
Prereq: Calculus II (GIR), Chemistry (GIR), and Physics II (GIR)
Units: 507
A comprehensive introduction to the fundamental physics of energy systems that emphasizes quantitative analysis. Focuses on the fundamental physical principles underlying energy processes and on the application of these principles to practical calculations. Applies mechanics and electromagnetism to energy systems; introduces and applies basic ideas from thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and nuclear physics. Examines energy sources, conversion, transport, losses, storage, conservation, and end uses. Analyzes the physics of side effects, such as global warming and radiation hazards. Provides students with technical tools and perspective to evaluate energy choices quantitatively at both national policy and personal levels.
Staff
8.223 Classical Mechanics II
()
Prereq: Calculus II (GIR) and Physics I (GIR)
Units: 204
A broad, theoretical treatment of classical mechanics, useful in its own right for treating complex dynamical problems, but essential to understanding the foundations of quantum mechanics and statistical physics. Generalized coordinates, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations, canonical transformations, and Poisson brackets. Applications to continuous media. The relativistic Lagrangian and Maxwell's equations.
M. Williams
8.224 Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity and Astrophysics
()
Prereq: 8.033 or 8.20
Units: 309
Study of physical effects in the vicinity of a black hole as a basis for understanding general relativity, astrophysics, and elements of cosmology. Extension to current developments in theory and observation. Energy and momentum in flat spacetime; the metric; curvature of spacetime near rotating and nonrotating centers of attraction; trajectories and orbits of particles and light; elementary models of the Cosmos. Weekly meetings include an evening seminar and recitation. The last third of the term is reserved for collaborative research projects on topics such as the Global Positioning System, solar system tests of relativity, descending into a black hole, gravitational lensing, gravitational waves, Gravity Probe B, and more advanced models of the cosmos. Subject has online components that are open to selected MIT alumni. Alumni wishing to participate should contact Professor Bertschinger at edbert@mit.edu. Limited to 40.
Staff
8.225[J] Einstein, Oppenheimer, Feynman: Physics in the 20th Century
()
(Same subject as STS.042[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 309
Explores the changing roles of physics and physicists during the 20th century. Topics range from relativity theory and quantum mechanics to highenergy physics and cosmology. Examines the development of modern physics within shifting institutional, cultural, and political contexts, such as physics in Imperial Britain, Nazi Germany, US efforts during World War II, and physicists' roles during the Cold War. Enrollment limited.
D. I. Kaiser
8.226 Fortythree Orders of Magnitude
()
Prereq: (8.04 and 8.044) or permission of instructor
Units: 309
Examines the widespread societal implications of current scientific discoveries in physics across fortythree orders of magnitude in length scale. Addresses topics ranging from climate change to nuclear nonproliferation. Students develop their ability to express concepts at a level accessible to the public and to present a wellreasoned argument on a topic that is a part of the national debate. Requires diverse writing assignments, including substantial papers. Enrollment limited.
J. Gore
8.228 Relativity II
()
Prereq: 8.033 or permission of instructor
Units: 204
A fastpaced and intensive introduction to general relativity, covering advanced topics beyond the 8.033 curriculum. Provides students with a foundation for research relying on knowledge of general relativity, including gravitational waves and cosmology. Additional topics in curvature, weak gravity, and cosmology.
Staff
8.231 Physics of Solids I
()
Prereq: 8.044; Coreq: 8.05
Units: 408
URL: http://web.mit.edu/physics/subjects/index.html
Lecture: TR12.30 (4261) Recitation: F2 (2135)
Introduction to the basic concepts of the quantum theory of solids. Topics: periodic structure and symmetry of crystals; diffraction; reciprocal lattice; chemical bonding; lattice dynamics, phonons, thermal properties; free electron gas; model of metals; Bloch theorem and band structure, nearly free electron approximation; tight binding method; Fermi surface; semiconductors, electrons, holes, impurities; optical properties, excitons; and magnetism.
L. Ju No textbook information available
8.241 Introduction to Biological Physics
()
Prereq: Physics II (GIR) and (8.044 or (5.601 and 5.602))
Units: 408
Credit cannot also be received for 20.315, 20.415
Introduces the main concepts of biological physics, with a focus on biophysical phenomena at the molecular and cellular scales. Presents the role of entropy and diffusive transport in living matter; challenges to life resulting from the highly viscous environment present at microscopic scales, including constraints on force, motion and transport within cells, tissues, and fluids; principles of how cellular machinery (e.g., molecular motors) can convert electrochemical energy sources to mechanical forces and motion. Also covers polymer physics relevant to DNA and other biological polymers, including the study of configurations, fluctuations, rigidity, and entropic elasticity. Meets with 20.315 and 20.415 when offered concurrently.
Staff
8.245[J] Viruses, Pandemics, and Immunity
() Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 5.003[J], 10.382[J], HST.439[J]) (Subject meets with 5.002[J], 10.380[J], HST.438[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 201
Covers the history of infectious diseases, basics of virology, immunology, and epidemiology, and ways in which diagnostic tests, vaccines, and antiviral therapies are currently designed and manufactured. Examines the origins of inequities in infection rates in society, and issues pertinent to vaccine safety. Final project explores how to create a more pandemicresilient world. HST.438 intended for firstyear students; all others should take HST.439.
A. Chakraborty
8.251 String Theory for Undergraduates
()
Prereq: 8.033, 8.044, and 8.05
Units: 408
Credit cannot also be received for 8.821
Introduction to the main concepts of string theory, i.e., quantum mechanics of a relativistic string. Develops aspects of string theory and makes it accessible to students familiar with basic electromagnetism and statistical mechanics, including the study of Dbranes and string thermodynamics. Meets with 8.821 when offered concurrently.
H. Liu
8.276 Nuclear and Particle Physics
() Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: 8.033 and 8.04
Units: 408
Presents a modern view of the fundamental structure of matter. Starting from the Standard Model, which views leptons and quarks as basic building blocks of matter, establishes the properties and interactions of these particles. Explores applications of this phenomenology to both particle and nuclear physics. Emphasizes current topics in nuclear and particle physics research at MIT. Intended for students with a basic knowledge of relativity and quantum physics concepts.
Staff
8.277 Introduction to Particle Accelerators
(, , ) Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: (6.2300 or 8.07) and permission of instructor
Units arranged
Principles of acceleration: beam properties; linear accelerators, synchrotrons, and storage rings. Accelerator technologies: radio frequency cavities, bending and focusing magnets, beam diagnostics. Particle beam optics and dynamics. Special topics: measures of accelerators performance in science, medicine and industry; synchrotron radiation sources; free electron lasers; highenergy colliders; and accelerators for radiation therapy. May be repeated for credit for a maximum of 12 units.
Staff
8.282[J] Introduction to Astronomy
()
(Same subject as 12.402[J])
Prereq: Physics I (GIR)
Units: 306
Quantitative introduction to the physics of planets, stars, galaxies and our universe, from origin to ultimate fate, with emphasis on the physics tools and observational techniques that enable our understanding. Topics include our solar system, extrasolar planets; our Sun and other "normal" stars, star formation, evolution and death, supernovae, compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, stellarmass black holes); galactic structure, star clusters, interstellar medium, dark matter; other galaxies, quasars, supermassive black holes, gravitational waves; cosmic largescale structure, origin, evolution and fate of our universe, inflation, dark energy, cosmic microwave background radiation, gravitational lensing, 21cm tomography. Not usable as a restricted elective by Physics majors.
Staff
8.284 Modern Astrophysics
()
Prereq: 8.04
Units: 309
Lecture: TR23.30 (4145) +final
Application of physics (Newtonian, statistical, and quantum mechanics; special and general relativity) to fundamental processes that occur in celestial objects. Includes mainsequence stars, collapsed stars (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), pulsars, galaxies, active galaxies, quasars, and cosmology. Electromagnetic and gravitational radiation signatures of astrophysical phenomena explored through examination of observational data. No prior knowledge of astronomy required.
M. Mcdonald Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.286 The Early Universe
()
Prereq: Physics II (GIR) and 18.03
Units: 309
Lecture: MW1112.30 (4265)
Introduction to modern cosmology. First half deals with the development of the big bang theory from 1915 to 1980, and latter half with recent impact of particle theory. Topics: special relativity and the Doppler effect, Newtonian cosmological models, introduction to nonEuclidean spaces, thermal radiation and early history of the universe, big bang nucleosynthesis, introduction to grand unified theories and other recent developments in particle theory, baryogenesis, the inflationary universe model, and the evolution of galactic structure.
A. Guth No textbook information available
8.287[J] Observational Techniques of Optical Astronomy
()
(Same subject as 12.410[J])
Prereq: 8.282, 12.409, or other introductory astronomy course
Units: 348
Lecture: MWF2 (4231) Lab: M EVE (79 PM) (37294)
Fundamental physical and optical principles used for astronomical measurements at visible wavelengths and practical methods of astronomical observations. Topics: astronomical coordinates, time, optics, telescopes, photon counting, signaltonoise ratios, data analysis (including leastsquares model fitting), limitations imposed by the Earth's atmosphere on optical observations, CCD detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, astrometry, and time variability. Project at Wallace Astrophysical Observatory. Written and oral project reports. Limited to 18; preference to Course 8 and Course 12 majors and minors.
M. Person, R. Teague No textbook information available
8.290[J] Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques
()
(Same subject as 12.425[J]) (Subject meets with 12.625)
Prereq: 8.03 and 18.03
Units: 309
Lecture: TR10.3012 (54517)
Presents basic principles of planet atmospheres and interiors applied to the study of extrasolar planets. Focuses on fundamental physical processes related to observable extrasolar planet properties. Provides a quantitative overview of detection techniques. Introduction to the feasibility of the search for Earthlike planets, biosignatures and habitable conditions on extrasolar planets. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
S. Seager Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.292[J] Fluid Physics
()
(Same subject as 1.066[J], 12.330[J])
Prereq: 5.60, 8.044, or permission of instructor
Units: 309
A physicsbased introduction to the properties of fluids and fluid systems, with examples drawn from a broad range of sciences, including atmospheric physics and astrophysics. Definitions of fluids and the notion of continuum. Equations of state and continuity, hydrostatics and conservation of momentum; ideal fluids and Euler's equation; viscosity and the NavierStokes equation. Energy considerations, fluid thermodynamics, and isentropic flow. Compressible versus incompressible and rotational versus irrotational flow; Bernoulli's theorem; steady flow, streamlines and potential flow. Circulation and vorticity. Kelvin's theorem. Boundary layers. Fluid waves and instabilities. Quantum fluids.
L. Bourouiba
8.295 Practical Experience in Physics
(, , , )
Prereq: None
Units: 010 [P/D/F]
TBA.
For Course 8 students participating in offcampus experiences in physics. Before registering for this subject, students must have an internship offer from a company or organization and must identify a Physics advisor. Upon completion of the project, student must submit a letter from the company or organization describing the work accomplished, along with a substantive final report from the student approved by the MIT advisor. Subject to departmental approval. Consult departmental academic office.
L. Winslow No textbook information available
8.298 Selected Topics in Physics
(, , , )
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
TBA.
Presentation of topics of current interest, with content varying from year to year.
L. Winslow No textbook information available
8.299 Physics Teaching
(, )
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
For qualified undergraduate students interested in gaining some experience in teaching. Laboratory, tutorial, or classroom teaching under the supervision of a faculty member. Students selected by interview.
Fall: L. Winslow Spring: Winslow, Lindley No textbook information available
8.EPE UPOP Engineering Practice Experience
(, )
Engineering SchoolWide Elective Subject. (Offered under: 1.EPE, 2.EPE, 3.EPE, 6.EPE, 8.EPE, 10.EPE, 15.EPE, 16.EPE, 20.EPE, 22.EPE)
Prereq: None
Units: 001 [P/D/F]
Lab: M11 (3333) or M1 (3442) or W11 (3333) or W1 (3133) or F11 (3333) or F1 (37212)
Provides students with skills to prepare for and excel in the world of industry. Emphasizes practical application of career theory and professional development concepts. Introduces students to relevant and timely resources for career development, provides students with tools to embark on a successful internship search, and offers networking opportunities with employers and MIT alumni. Students work in groups, led by industry mentors, to improve their resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills, networking abilities, project management, and ability to give and receive feedback. Objective is for students to be able to adapt and contribute effectively to their future employment organizations. A total of two units of credit is awarded for completion of the fall and subsequent spring term offerings. Application required; consult UPOP website for more information.
Fall: D. Fordell, C. Greaney Spring: D. Fordell, C. Greaney No textbook information available
8.S014 Special Subject: Physics
(New)
()
Prereq: None
Units: 204
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
Staff
8.S02 Special Subject: Physics
() Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 102 [P/D/F]
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
P. Dourmashkin
8.S198 Special Subject: Physics
(New)
(, , ) Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units arranged
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
Staff
8.S199 Special Subject: Physics
(New)
(, , ) Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
Staff
8.S227 Special Subject: Physics
() Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 309
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
Staff
8.S271 Special Subject: Physics
()
Prereq: None
Units: 204
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
R. Redwine
8.S30 Special Subject: Physics
(, )
Prereq: None
Units arranged
Lecture: TR9.3011 (2103) Recitation: F10 (2103)
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
A. Frebel Textbooks (Fall 2024)
8.S50 Special Subject: Physics
() Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
Opportunity for group study of subjects in physics not otherwise included in the curriculum.
Staff
8.UR Undergraduate Research
(, , , )
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
Research opportunities in physics. For further information, contact the departmental UROP coordinator.
Fall: Winslow, Lindley IAP: Winslow, Lindley Spring: Winslow, Lindley Summer: Winslow, Lindley Textbooks arranged individually
8.THU Undergraduate Physics Thesis
(, , , )
Prereq: None
Units arranged
TBA.
Program of research leading to the writing of an S.B. thesis; to be arranged by the student under approved supervision.
Fall: Winslow, Lindley IAP: Winslow, Lindley Spring: Winslow, Lindley Summer: Winslow, Lindley Textbooks arranged individually
